|IC 342: Spiral Galaxy (Camelopardalis) RA: 03h 46.8m / DEC: +68° 05'.8|
Instrument: 10-inch Starfinder
The sketch at left records the delicate form of IC 342, a large face-on spiral galaxy tucked away in the far northern constellation, Camelopardalis. The observation was made at 36X with the Meade 10-inch Starfinder. While sweeping into the field, I first noticed a narrow elongated and very subtle brightening of the sky. This is centered in my drawing. While making the sketch, a larger oval nebulosity was revealed. Although IC 342 is almost 22' in diameter, only the brightest portion around the core is visible in my scope. This measures roughly 13'x8' along a north-south axis. This SAB-type spiral has an integrated blue magnitude of 9.1, which suggests a visual magnitude approximately 0.8 magnitude brighter. But don't let that number fool you. That glow is spread across a large area, giving IC 342 a faint surface brightness of 24.4 magnitude per square arc second. That's similar to the challenging dwarf elliptical galaxy, Leo I.
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Revised: November 7, 2005 [WDF]